I am aware that many people disagree with me about the way in which, today, we should be using the notions of possitivity and negativity. In my view to complain about the lethal incompetence demonstrated by Tory-led governments since 2010 is not merely totally positive but it is a duty.
Our unwritten constitution contains a huge and crucially important concept. It is ACCOUNTABILITY. Until the arrival of Tony Blair this meant the people holding government to account. It also meant real, inclusive politics leading to policies to which, most of the time, we were able to commit.
Blair stood all of this on its head. He set targets for the people to hit, or else. Today, you must have noticed, almost within a single sentence ministers and secretaries of state have slid from the word ‘advice’ to the word ‘instruction’. Yesterday I read about a police officer ordering a man to leave his front garden. The officer had neither the right nor the power to do that.
Since 1829 our police have been trained to work to Peel’s Principles for Law Enforcement. The theme of those Principles is Policing by Consent. In 1984 (what a year to choose) at Orgreave our police ignored the principles underpinning their training. Do you remember the Miners Strike?
And now, having been assured that the army were merely going to provide a few lorries to move health supporting stuff around, we hear that they might very well join the police in controlling us. In 1969 the army was called into Northern Ireland to protect the Catholics that were being terrorised by Protestants including, very prominently, the police. The army took the side of the police.
Government continues to lie to us. Not long ago we were given the impression that our prime minister was infected by something not much worse than a mild cold. Not for him, we were told, the usual two weeks of isolation. One week only, if that. Then came hospital. We were told that he remained in charge. Then came intensive care. Then, yesterday, we learned that he is actually able to sit up and walk a few steps. That was some cold.
And yesterday we heard joyful stories of people in the South East of England clapping and cheering the social and health workers who, with insufficient protection and equipment, are working and dying, yes dying, to deal with the virus. I am willing to bet that a survey of those happy clappers would reveal that not one of them voted for Corbyn. They would have voted for the enemies of the social and health services: the people who, in a trade deal, are prepared to sell off the NHS to Trump.
Complaining and protesting against this government is possitivity in action. Remaining quiescent while they lie and cock up is real negativity. Listen to and read the likes of Pilger and Monbiot. Perhaps even more significantly, read the words of Peter Oborne, a natural Conservative, who tells us that Corbyn was right.
Not to worry, the finances of our hedge funders are in really good health. I bet they joined in the clapping.