Capitalism is an economic system based upon private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit.
Privatising our NHS and all our other once public services is not capitalism, it’s colonialism in disguise, the theft of something we have already built, paid for and run for 70 years, and renting it back to us for profit. Vulture capitalism is a misnomer, but it gives the general idea of parasitical market forces on a feeding frenzy. We still pay for it all, but those services no longer exists to serve our interests. The first order of business is to serve the companies interests, which is profit.
It is much the same as if I sold the house you’d paid for over your lifetime, without your permission, and may even have built yourself, and then renting back to you what was once entirely yours, leaving you ever poorer with nothing but a living space that you have no control over any more, a tenancy I can end and rent to someone else at any time, leaving you homeless and destitute, for which I then lay the blame and the cost entirely on you.
Since 2010, the Conservatives have turned us from a nation of owners of our national services and assets, into a nation of the dispossessed.
We have gone from security to precarity and, naturally, those most affected are those who were already living the most precarious lives.
Where once I could access the NHS confident that it was there to serve my interests and help me at a time of need, that confidence has been ripped away from me and I am dependent on the whim of private companies whose first interests are not my interests and which have no mandate to serve my interests and for which I have no access to holding them to account.
Look at Britain today, we are a nation in which millions of people are being driven into beggary, the most visible sign of which is the ever increasing numbers of homeless people, but that is just the tip of an enormous iceberg which more and more people are colliding with and sinking every day.
Britain is being run for private profit and public risk. The fall of Carillion is a case in point: “Outsourcing and privatisation doesn’t transfer risk to a company. Instead, it transfers any profits or savings made (coming from general taxation) to shareholders and leaves taxpayers exposed and vulnerable towards all the risks and failures; because if they fail the government bails them out. Privatisation simply means no accountability for public money.” In short, it is daylight robbery.
And who is responsible for this daylight robbery? The government. A government which insists that we must work harder, in ever more precarious employment, with ever shrinking social safety nets, so that we can pay more to thieves.
Today there are demonstrations taking place across the country protesting against the privatisation of our NHS and demanding redress from those who are robbing us.
We’re being mugged and those mugging us not only have the audacity to blame us for their crimes, they heap shame and contempt upon us, laughing at our distress and the lives it costs every day.
This is not democracy, it is tyranny, but every day draws us closer to an accounting, the lies cannot last forever and, after 8 years, the government is in chaos, their protestations of innocence grow ever more facile, parroting dogma that has lost all meaning. Democracy and power do belong to the people, and although motivating tens of millions of people is slow work, the core message remains, which the poet Shelly wrote in ‘The Masque of Anarchy’, which was banned for 30 years:
“Rise like Lions after slumber, In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew, Which in sleep had fallen on you – Ye are many – they are few.”
In the face of government tyranny and disaster, never, ever, give up, because surrender is ruin. If we fear to die, then we should not fear to live and fight those who would so casually take our lives from us. It is not just about my life as an individual, it is about the lives of those who will follow after, those not even born yet and, like Shelly, what message and what world we leave them.