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  • Writer's picturechris walsh

Is England Really A portrait of Dorian Gray

It is said that once you grow old you look back with nostalgia while the present and future seems increasingly dark and threatening. Well as a baby boomer child I have to say that while much has improved, with feminism, anti racism, medical advances and the new technological revolution all improving our lives, the research does show a dystopian present and future.

Our children are rightly fearful of their future both personal and planetary.

In the 70s workers got a fairer share of the wealth they produced, trade unions playing a key role in this, public services provided support to all in housing, education, health, energy and transport. The environment was reasonably clean and not life threatening and the future looked bright and hopeful as colonialism was overthrown and at home wealth was spread more fairly.

Now we look at a privatised barren wasteland, our rivers and beaches polluted and full of sewerage, our public services falling apart while the companies running them suck them dry for super profits. There has been since the rise under Thatcher / Reagan of neo liberal globalisatiion a class war won by the super rich billionaires and their parasitic global corporations. Tax avoidance and money laundering is now the norm for these masters of the universe. Tax is paid by those that work not on the grotesque wealth largely inherited and unearned so that while wages have stagnated for 15 years the richest 100 people in the uk have seen their wealth tripled and largely untaxed. The rise of nationalist, ultra right political movements funded by and the servants of the reactionary rich grow by the day aided and abetted by their control of the media. The new horsemen of the apocalypse bestride the world, plague, starvation, poverty, environmental collapse and pollution, hate and division with the nuclear threat growing by the day. All this is linked. Governments are now bribed by the polluters and destroyers of the planet to carry on their enabling of these destructive processes while people's voices and needs don't just go unheard and unmet but police state measures and surveillance attempt to stem the tide of popular dissent and resistance.

But human beings do rise up against their masters and their misery. Democracy and radical alternatives can go hand in hand with scientific and technological advance, there is still hope. But only if enough of us stand up for our rights and upset this rotting apple cart

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