THE EU: ARE WE REALLY IN THIS TOGETHER?

by Gunnar Eigener

‘War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.’ – George Orwell

In the aftermath of acts of terrorism — spotlight grabbing though it might be — politicians reach out, indirectly and through other politicians, to those affected. It demonstrates that perhaps they possess some element of humanity themselves. The media briefly shows the caring actions of the people of those countries and cities devastated, physically and emotionally. Then, once all has been said and done, business returns to normal.

We point and laugh across the pond at the circus that is Donald Trump’s presidential bid. We criticise the depths to which the Republicans stoop to find a scapegoat for America’s problems. Yet what we fail to recognise is that the same process is taking place here — it is simply spread across European governments instead of being conveniently bundled up into one laughable narcissistic crazy-haired package. We try to convince ourselves that not in Europe would we allow such bile and hatred come from one individual and we don’t. But nor do we look at the bigger picture and see that very same bile and hatred come in the form of legislation and government actions.

The idea that the government is using our money in the best way for our society does simply not add up.

In recent months both the Swiss and Danish parliaments have enacted laws that allow police to seize the belongings of refugees to cover the costs of their treatments; these are people who have lost family and friends to a war not of their making and when they come to us for help we simply rob them. David Cameron wants emergency powers in place to allow the UK to prevent refugees and migrants from claiming work benefits and social housing for four years. Refugees will be expected to contribute to a society for four years without getting anything back. Meanwhile Google only have to pay 3% corporation tax on a decade’s worth of profit; corporate income tax contributions were about £45billion for 2012-13. The idea that the government is using our money in the best way for our society does simply not add up.

(Google’s tax deal raises the question of whether the government is taking too soft a tone with multinationals over their tax © Bloomberg/Getty Images)

ISIS and other terrorist groups work on the principal of fear. Filmed executions are released, horrendous accounts from those lucky enough to escape are heard and the press and media constantly remind us of the inevitability of an attack — the quotes usually provided by high-ranking security personnel just before new budgets are to be announced. The Director General of MI5, Andrew Parker, stated in November 2013 that since 2005 about 34 terror plots have been prevented. The chances are that the public will hear the word ‘security’ more often than ‘pollution’ or ‘climate’, yet the probability of dying from a terrorist attack in this country is 1 in 15.8 million while preventable causes such as alcohol, obesity and others will kill 1 in 417.

Governments are so quick to go to war yet remain virtually inactive when it comes to helping people who have suffered because of those wars

One of the most basic human things to do in this world should be the ability to help other human beings. Yet time and time again, the plight of humans is exploited for greed and political ends. If the basics cannot be achieved then how are we supposed to progress and make the world better? Progression is necessary but those in power would prefer to put the world on hold and stamp their rules all over it. Governments are so quick to go to war yet remain virtually inactive when it comes to helping people who have suffered because of those wars. Why do we have adverts pleading for donations to help those domestically and abroad, yet the Speaker of the House is allowed to spend £2000 of taxpayers’ money on hand-finished beeswax candles?

Currently NATO warships are patrolling the Aegean Sea with the intent to prevent human-trafficking operations — US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said that this would target the ‘criminal syndicate that is exploiting these poor people’. The NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said this would help Turkey and Greece ‘manage a human tragedy in a better way than we have managed to do so far’. What many of these proposed laws and actions do contributes very little to helping the plight of these human beings, nothing to resolve the actual root cause and probably does more to fan the flames of indignity and anger.

(The former flagship of Standing Nato Maritime Group 2, FGS Hamburg (far left), refuelling from from USNS Bridge with USS Dwight D Eisenhower on the right US Navy (Released))

We are in this together. So says the Tory slogan, first stated in David Cameron’s first speech as Prime Minister. He said, “We are all in this together is not a cry for help but a call to arms“. Well he got his wish. The country is up in arms but not against the Conservative government as it should be. Instead, the most right-wing media in Europe encourages us to find the fault of a slowly-bankrupting authoritarian state in the desperate pleas of help from those who have been repressed by our taxed money spent on weapons of war.

George Orwell said: ‘Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’. So this is what I want to tell people whether they want to hear it or not: My government lies to me every day. It steals my money and uses it to wage war against a civilisation and people I have nothing against. It gives my money to people who don’t need it so that they can use it to gamble in order to get more money they don’t need. My money is not always spent on the things that I would like it to be spent on and when it is, the government is finding new ways of fucking me over on those things as well.

David Cameron is right. We are all in it together. Except he is talking about him and his own, laughing down at us from their ivory tower. I don’t know about you but I’m going to take every opportunity I can to bring that tower down around their fucking heads.

Featured image © Europress / Dan Kitwood – Getty Images

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