Monday, 26 September 2016

Mutually assured ...

Regular or indeed accidental readers of this blog may notice an uncharacteristic gap since its predecessor. Frankly, as an English socialist I have been lost for words. Even now that the latest Labour leadership election has at last ended, there is little left to say, either because it has been said a thousand times already or because nothing has really been resolved on which to pass comment.

However, on Saturday I was discussing the state of the world with a friend even older than me who reminded me of the phrase "mutually assured destruction". He was referring to current Labour factions but I had just opined that the world today seems more unsafe and unpleasant for its inhabitants [not including, of course, the "1%" - never them] than at any time since 1962. 1962? Because "mutually assured destruction" as a theory was close to being tested in practice, via the Cuban missile crisis. One of my daughters recently found it hard to believe that people once quite genuinely feared that we were on the brink of nuclear war; but such is my memory of 1962.

Happily, there were leaders at the time with the nous to pull back from the brink. Today's leaders, be they concerned with national or global affairs, do not deserve to place themselves in the same category as those of 1962. How confident can we feel in our chosen ones dealing with: Climate Change [fracking anyone?]; Syria [arms but never a food drop; and certainly no ideas]; refugees and migration [nationalism and xenophobia to the fore]; inequality [lovely if you are rich and powerful]; let alone domestic matters like care for the disabled or elderly, housing shortage and inflation, education for all children or destruction of public services? I see no potential leaders or solutions on the horizon with which to cheer myself; and look at my own Party and despair.