There’s a point in Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons where Dr. Manhattan (the naked blue superhero) has left Earth for Mars and left his home planet to a probable nuclear destruction because as a near godlike figure he can no longer see any worth in humanity as they’re a selfish, thankless race who will be replaced on Earth by whatever evolution decides to be top of the food chain after nuclear Armageddon. He’s convinced by Laurie, his former girlfriend and former superhero, that there’s something in humanity so that each life is a small thermodynamic miracle.
Laurie reminds Dr. Manhattan of the uniqueness of us all. We are all in our own way miracles and our lives have value beyond comprehension because at some level we all hold the potential for something. We don’t know what, let alone we might never reach that potential for greatness but at the moment here where Alan Moore has Dr. Manhattan stare aloofly at the pale blue dot in the sky from his refuge on Mars, speak to the last human that meant anything to him and at this moment he remembers the value of life. It’s an amazingly uplifting and positive bit of writing which reminds us of our humanity.
Lately though in the real world it seems losing your humanity is par for the course for people like David Cameron and George Osborne, who seem to be able to tell us the price of everything, but have no comprehension of the value of life. The British state values itself and it’s more powerful supporters more than anyone, or anything else, just look at Michelle Mone, an unelected business woman that sucked up campaign to keep Scotland in the UK and is now a lawmaker in the House of Lords. Just look at David Cameron sucking up to the Chinese president as thousands across the UK lose their jobs in the steel industry.
To the Tories, human life is valued only by how much it’s worth to you, and of course, if you’re one of them. So people like Mone become allies and even though not one single person has never voted for her, she has input into how laws affecting you and I are written. Palms are greased, favours are done and the powerful rewards those that help keep the establishment safe.
Take Iain Duncan Smith, He famously had an epiphany over a decade ago when as Tory leader of the opposition he visited Easterhouse in Glasgow and saw the poverty people endured day-to-day first hand for himself. He pushed the idea of ‘compassionate Conservatism’ and some thought this was the man that could bring people out of poverty. In fact he’s driven people further, and deeper into poverty, plus his policies are driving people to the last, and worst option as they’d rather take their life than live on in a country run by Iain Duncan Smith and his like.
People live in the sort of deep, grinding poverty that in the UK in 2015 is Victorian in scale and effect. Don’t believe me? Read this New Statesman article about Easterhouse now reflecting on Iain Duncan Smith’s visit. These people have been disregarded, and in some cases, dehumanised by government policies designed not to help them, but attack them and to punish them because the Tories don’t see people on benefits in poverty as having anyone to blame but themselves.
In today’s Tory Britain people are ‘strivers’, they’ve become ‘hard working’. They’re constantly described in language that means they ‘aspire’ to something else, but the people that fall through the cracks are disregarded. All the disabled, unemployed, poor and the most vulnerable are described as ‘scroungers’, ‘leeches’ and have to be forced in the eyes of the Tories to become a real person that strives and aspires.For these people though every single day they strive for better and they work hard just to survive but for the Tories (not to mention those that support them) they’re somehow not quite as important as anyone else because in the eyes of a David Cameron, George Osborne or a Iain Duncan Smith they’re just there to be exploited as any other resource.
For Tories there are no thermodynamic miracles. Unless you’re rich or powerful enough to matter. Then you’re on their radar. Humanity is to be used to make corporations money because once you’re in debt, you’re able to be used by those predatory companies that see people not as individual human beings but Money Generating Units.
I’m done with that all. I’m done with a supine Labour Party opposing the Tories when it suits them, even under Corbyn their opposition has been flaky at best. I’m done with a media in thrall to the establishment and I’m done with endless faceless Tory drones laughing inside when they hear of someone killing themselves because they didn’t want to make that choice between heating or eating anymore. I want a better world where each person, each thermodynamic miracle can reach for their potential without having to worry where they went to school, or how much their folks earn, or who they know to help them get into the positions of power.
The next five years are going to be brutal for people in places like Easterhouse all over Scotland and the UK. People are going to die because the government of the day have decided to rule over them like an evil imperial power splitting people into ‘strivers’ and ‘wasters’ therefore deciding who lives or dies. Who suffers in abject poverty or who has a comfortable life where the next meal isn’t something days away.
So we need to remember we’re all the same. We’re all deserving of the same chances. We need to fight the Tories with every single breath when we can because if we don’t the UK isn’t going to be a place worth living in for many people at the bottom of society in five years and for many of us, there’s not going to be a chance to achieve any of our dreams and hopes because thanks to the Tories, the act of survival will be paramount as a dystopian future is created for one group of people and bread and circuses for the majority.
Unite to fight the Tories. That’s all that matters now.