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It’s payback time

I am an advocate for the advertising industry. During my 25-year career, I have worked in overwhelmingly positive, meritocratic agencies with intelligent, sociable people. I have never seen any incidence of bribery or backhanders, prejudice or discrimination. And I have been lucky enough to work with people whose principles have been based upon working hard for their clients, treating them well and hoping to be rewarded with success and the award of more work.

When I took the plunge and created Breakfast, I hoped those same principles would stand me and the agency in good stead. So far, so good. But sometimes I wonder how those principles might have held me, and the agencies I have worked for, back.

Let’s look at politics for the evidence. The recently elected Tory government is, as most people know, bankrolled by big business. Unprincipled, polluting, selfish, profit-before-everything, let’s-look-after-our-mates-most-of-whom-went-to-the-same-school big business, by and large. Oh, and Rupert Murdoch.

Which is why, two months after their surprise victory, payback time has well and truly started. And the government has, in no particular order : a) Reversed its decision to protect SSSIs from fracking; b) ended the requirement for housebuilders to make new homes carbon-neutral; c) started the process of destroying the BBC.

In other words, tried to prepare the ground for a few big energy companies, housebuilders and the Murdoch empire to make more money, at the expense of our environment, our planet, and an institution that is probably more responsible than anything else for the remaining goodwill towards Britain and Britons in the world.

If you voted for this government because you think our benefits system is bloated and we should remedy this by making the most vulnerable in society poorer, fine: that’s your democratic right. Maybe you’re in favour of scrapping human rights legislation, the ongoing privatisation and commoditisation of education, the slow, protracted killing of the NHS and the dismantling of workers’ rights that took centuries to secure. Well, bully for you: I think you’re wrong, and that many of the values and institutions that made this country great are now at risk, but that’s democracy.

But did you not realise that the other stuff would happen too? That on a planet where the smartest people tell us we cannot afford to burn any more fossil fuels, we have a government pursuing policies that will encourage exactly that? While removing any imperative to build houses that reduce emissions? By destroying an institution that exists to provide public service broadcasting (and, whatever right-wing blowhards say combines an inherently conservative worldview with a smattering of liberalism, much as the majority of the British public does), because, well, that’s what Rupert Murdoch wants? That’s Rupert Murdoch: you know, the phone hacking, climate change denying, responsible for Fox News chap. That one.

Make no mistake: this government is actively consolidating as much power and influence as possible in the hands of a small, corporate ruling-class, with their only aim the retention of power for that same cabal at the next election so they can do more of the same. They don’t care about you; they don’t care about your children, they don’t care about the environment.

If you didn’t realise this, you really need to do more research. And it’s only going to get worse. There’s four and three-quarter years’ worth of payback time left.


More payback here

Oh, and here

They’ll be reopening the coal mines next, which would at least have some ironic value.

Categories: blogging for Britain
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