In the burned-out husk of the Grenfell Tower in London, where as of this writing the number of presumed dead has risen to 58, this author sees a pitch-perfect metaphor for the state of the neoliberal project and in the person of Teresa May and the disintegrating state of both her political career and the political party to which she belongs, a spot-on bookend to the era that began with Maggie Thatcher almost fifty years ago.
Because my negotiating position on this begins with Fuck The Tories and I am disinclined to really give much ground. Like their American counterparts, the Tories, as a party, deserve to be ground into dust and shot into space. The atomized remnants of the Conservative Party can then, as individuals, meekly ask for forgiveness and quietly rejoin politics as the most junior members of any number of scattered minority parties.
Because 58 dead (and counting) poor people is What. They. Want. They like it; it is the ultimate end purpose of all of their policies: “work as hard as you can for as little money as we can get away with paying you and then please die quickly before you become a drain on the state that would require me to pay more in taxes, which would impact my ability to own a villa in Italy.”
The Tories have England’s history of aristocracy and imperialism as their North Star while the GOP has our unique American history of slavery, genocide, religious extremism and crass materialism from which to draw. Though they may play in different keys, they are the same song, variations of a theme of wealth and power, exploitation and racial violence.
Maggie and Saint Ronnie were a match made in hell, to be certain, but perhaps the Corbyn ascendancy, like Bernie’s over here, represents a green shoot of hope for a better tomorrow; two leathery old socialists who kept the flame alive through decades of storm-tossed darkness, who remember the old stories and can tell them to the youth. Perhaps, just perhaps, the days of accommodationist capitulation to the GOP/Tory storm of avarice by the purported protectors of the common people are finally at long last over, or at least ending as the middle-way quislings die off or retire.
I would that it should continue. May’s implosion gives Corbyn the chance Labour needs, but I’m not sure he and they can survive the pummeling Britain will suffer amid Brexit and likewise I am pessimistic that the American Left will survive Trump.
But some hope is better than no hope at all.