Chris Leslie is the Labour MP for Nottingham East. Since entering parliament as a thrusting young automaton aged 25, he has in a nine year political career* managed the remarkable feat of never having rebelled against a government position. Therefore always view him as a constant and consistent mouthpiece for current Labour party thinking. He’s politically pretty much identical to fellow local MP Vernon Coaker, but without Big Vern’s flair for standing next to things far more popular than him and the amusingly cack handed fumblings with social media. Anyway occasionally he deigns to let us, the public, know about the present conditions via his communiqués.
I’ve read the grim thing so you don’t have to. Here’s the tl;dr proles:
1/ I do agree with some of the things the Occupy movement has to say. However as I disagree with their tactics of harmlessly camping somewhere rather than encouraging a vote for the Labour party I cannot endorse them. Don’t they know there is a parliamentary process and every four years you get to vote for two and a half virtually identical political parties? Why on earth are you bothering? Don’t you know all change has to come through parliament? I’m parliament and none have you have deigned to ask me about anything.
Anyway to help deal with your perceived concerns of how the neoliberal economy hasn’t produced a real increase in workers’ wages since the worldwide breaking of organised labour around the mid 70s, instead giving you a credit card, a student loan and other crippling debts whilst at the same time diverting rewards from increased productivity to the people managing capital[i]:
I went to a conference and asked some highly paid directors to be nicer.
2/ Hey all those workers who are having their pensions decimated by the Tory government. STEADY ON. I know some people such as the person writing this blog post are having to retire 3 years later AND paying a 50% increase in contributions AND having their final pension cut by 25% but don’t you know that’s just how it has to be. There is no alternative. Sorry. Well maybe you should cut that contribution increase by a bit I guess. But only because it might make pension uptake collapse, not because people should have nice things like decent pensions. And don’t go on strike either because (most) unions should be busy funnelling money to my re-election not representing workers’ interests.
3/ Christ Greece is bad isn’t it? And the rest of the Eurozone. And our economy has gone to shit hasn’t it? Anyway I won’t say anything about those things as essentially it’s down to the markets and markets are nice aren’t they? I’ll say something about co-operatives here and how great they are. I won’t mention that Labour always big these up in opposition and then fail miserably to instigate them in the private sector. Happy to do it in the public sector though as it helps us slowly privatise the thing out of existence.
4/ Food bills are up 6.4% this year, way less than the median wage rises of 2.5% this year. People are struggling. The way to deal with this is of course not to address anything to do with global food commodity speculation and the inherent short-termist profit motive of the capitalist mode of production that doesn’t bother with stuff like growing enough food for everyone. No, I’m going to imply the fact we do in fact need to open a Tesco in Sneinton. I’M A GENIUS.
So there you go, Chris fiddling while Rome literally burns (well a few weeks ago anyway)[ii]. Instead he spends all his waking hours wondering how exactly he can triangulate policy to be one scientific measurement of a gnat’s chuff to the left of the Tories.
We know Tories are the enemy, just remember not to go soft on any other political parties either because if they all fundamentally have to be subservient to the market and the market grows ever more psychotic as days go by.
Things get worse for us and we see it everyday. Shops close down, if they reopen they’re either a pawnbrokers, or a pay day loan company or a bookies; all symptoms of societal distress. If we can find a job the pay goes less and less far and we’re only ever one or two pay packets from being back at our parents, on a mate’s sofa or out on the street. Chris also fails to mention that the new laws currently going through parliament now make it a criminal offence for people to squat in an empty property at the same time as homelessness increases by 17%[iii]. This is because he’d rather see people live on the street than for people rich enough to afford to keep a property empty, because like all MPs private property is the most sacrosanct of all things, never mind what people actually need.
Society needs a radical re imagining from the bottom up with us taking control of our everyday lives and working together for a society based on our actual needs. By doing this we change social relations and help to build a new world in the shell of the old. Or put more simply COMMUNISM brought about via ANARCHIST methods. We have pamphlets on this[iv]. Buy them all.
Also remember not to go to work on the November the 30th[v] and go support your local picket along with 1.1 million others. Chris Leslie didn’t say that bit, I did.
*to be fair to him he did have 5 years out in the real world. Down at heel, he worked in a precarious minimum wage job always wondering where the next pay cheque was coming from in the thoroughly immiserating environs of the Blairite New Local Government Network thinktank.