In October 1936, two hundred and seven marchers walked from Jarrow, a town in North East England, to Westminster Palace in London; a distance of 300 miles. Their march was in protest against the burden of unemployment and extreme poverty which the common people were carrying at the time. It was also a demand to the rich and the powerful to show respect and recognition for those less fortunate. The marchers who had no other resources than their own courage were supported by locals wherever they stopped. When the marchers completed their crusade, nothing was done for them. Factories remained closed, and poverty continued its demeaning road, only to be stopped by the horror of WW2.
2011 and we are at the same point those Jarrow marchers had to face 75 years ago. Again poverty is rearing its ugly head. Recent figures state that by the year 2015, in less than four years, 3.5 million children will be living below the poverty line in the United Kingdom! Even though corporate profits are at an all time high, the U.S.A ranks 93rd in the world ‘income equality’, behind China, India and, dare I say, Iran. Let’s not forget the millions who have no medical insurance, nor the many who have no roof over their heads. It is my opinion, that in the first instance, it is the duty of every government to ensure that its citizens not only have access to the three basic needs of life, food, shelter and clothing, but to other human basic rights such as sanitation, education and healthcare. Somehow I see these priorities put into second place, as most governments calculating their budget cuts seem to rape these vital needs first!
We live in a world where the headaches of one country causes a migraine to all others, think of Greece. Now I do not claim to be a banker, broker or financier, but as sure as ice melts in the heat, someone out there is making billions, because common-sense says it-where there is a minus somewhere there’s a plus! It is definitely not the common man that’s winning! But it is the common man that has to pick up the fucking bill!
|Berlin Protesters. pic by Aurel Hu.|
So what is right, let the rich get richer as the poor get poorer?! Communism doesn’t work, we know that; too much capitalism is also unhealthy and so is too much power, let’s face it, something is broken and there is no one to repair it. At present I don’t see a looming Messiah, most political leaders have either their hands tied behind their backs or fall prey to the tricks of bankers and financiers. Another factor- we still haven’t learnt to use that imperfect tool, democracy! Maybe we should take a closer look at the country with the purest form of that political philosophy, Switzerland, but even there, ways are found to confuse the ignorant voter.
No, I do not see an end to this global crisis; yes, it will be swept under the carpet, it always is, but it will never really be cleaned. The ghosts of those Jarrow marchers still have a long way to go. As one placard carried by a 99% says: ”One day the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich.”