David Cameron this weekend spoke of how, as a country, we should return to Christian values. I have to admit that Mr Cameron trumps me on the religious activist scale. I am listed as Church of England, but have in truth only attended church on sufficient occasions to qualify for marriage, and the christening of my son.
Looking back at recent history, the financial collapse brought about by our over reliance on avaricious bankers, and the financial whims of free spending oligarchs in the stock market etc, in addition to the Tories historic derision for the lot of worker’s rights and unions, and I have to say that I couldn’t agree with him more.
This country has an ideologically contaminated government, blind to the precipice they lead us towards. Unemployment spirals out of control, benefit dependency balloons, and the government, instead of working tirelessly for a lasting solution that will lead us from the hinterland, train their collective fire upon union representatives, and those fighting for a morsel of fairness in their hard earned retirement.
We have seen recent attacks upon the paid time off for trade union representatives that were enshrined in law by Labour, much to the disgust of millionaire Tory backbenchers. Even the CBI recognise the worth of trade union representatives in business, yet still Cameron’s coalition of the cuts seems determined to remove the protection for low paid and vulnerable workers that these representatives provide on a daily basis.
We have witnessed the double speak and simple ineptitude of Francis Maude during the ‘negotiations’ regarding public pension reform, and the inflammatory and hypocritical remarks made by Michael Gove concerning the audacity of our teachers, nurses and public sector workers in actually daring to stand up for their rights and retirement. The hawkish element of the Tories, which recently seems to have assumed control of UK foreign policy, has always felt contempt for the NHS, comprehensive education, and the welfare state.
Their blind reliance upon the power of the free market has lead to an explosion in unemployment as they enthusiastically swung the axe at the public, charity and voluntary sectors, rather like the baby boom spiked our levels of populus at the end of the war.
Mr Cameron is plainly pandering to the core readership of the Daily Mail when making these comments, however, the merit of his words should not be lost upon those within his party who are shameless in their allegiance to the privileged few, and the destruction of the public sector.
Brotherly Love, Fraternity, Renunciation of Worldly Goods, Respect and Love of Your Neighbour are all extolled in detail throughout the bible. A few hours spent reading extracts from Matthew, Leviticus, John, Job, Thessalonians, Romans, and Peter, amongst others should tell Mr Cameron all he needs to know. I would also suggest that he consult the rules, aims and values of just about any democratic trade union within the UK.
We are built upon fraternity. We trade on mutual respect, commitment, public duty, community spirit, and a sense of justice that obliges us to stand united in the face of bullying, harassment, exploitation and unfairness, wherever manifested and whomever suffered by. It is our fraternal duty that has kept us strong for more than a century, and which will stand us between ordinary workers and unfettered exploitative excess, far into the future.
The irony of this is that, whilst Mr Cameron has plainly been attempting to commission a play right out of the republican election manual, all he has managed to do is highlight the listlessness of his party’s policy foundations, built upon increasingly shifting sands, whilst underlining the strengths of those whose values his party seeks to repudiate and destroy.
The Tories will continue to lament the passing of ‘collective responsibility’ ‘social cohesion’ and ‘moral values’ from their leafy shire strongholds, whist congregations encourage the onward march of Christian soldiers, whilst at the same time, the inherent values of trade unionism, ‘collective responsibility’ ‘fraternity’ and ‘mutual respect’ will continue to be ridiculed, demonised and maligned by the Tories, their millionaire backers and their right wing media bed fellows as ‘extremist’ ‘dangerous’ and communist’ when democratically actioned by workers.
Many have for years believed that the dogma of Toryism has lacked quality in many areas; a distinct lack of love and respect for fellow men, hatred for trade unionists and public sector workers, any real community concern, any regard for people occupying a lower income tax bracket and council tax band, the list goes on. If Mr Cameron has indeed enjoyed an epiphany which has illustrated for him the folly of his beliefs, and the misguided direction he leads our nation in, then I for one will doff my hat willingly in the direction of his fortitude and self awareness.