Democracy puts strength in the hands of the many. Why in democratic Britain are the 90% treated like cattle for milking and for eating?
It isn’t enough for dodgy people to fool us into trusting them. For the dodgy to succeed it is necessary for us to mistrust their victims. It is necessary for us to doubt those in poverty (because they don’t work hard enough), those freezing in the cold (because they wilfully don’t put on an extra jumper), the unemployed (because they are lazy), the disabled (they secretly tango when no-one is looking) etc. The dodgy need us to mistrust their victims, because the victims are the witnesses and the evidence of their dodginess.
But here is another surprise for those who would blame the newspapers. The Demos report shows that in the case of benefits there is very little correlation between the number of newspaper stories and the public’s negative attitude. Public distrust grew even when the papers lost interest in running stories on benefits fraud.
Whatever the reason for the mistrust, the mistrust is one of the central reasons why the 90% are herded around by the 1% like farm animals. This is not about Socialism and Capitalism. The Socialist/Capitalist argument diverts ordinary Britons from a couple of basic truths:
1) The spoils go to the strong.
The many are stronger than the few until the many are divided. Ordinary Britons have been subtly divided by mistrust of ordinary Britons. Not divided enough for us to turn against each other. But enough not to stand up to the small minorities in government and in the industries who rip us off on a grand scale.
That subtle 'divide and conquer' is the greatest Rip-off of all, making all other rip-offs possible in our democracy.
Neither group is "better" than the other. But for there to be equity, these two strong groups need to pull for their own sides.
For decades of Labour and Conservative governments the bottom 90% of Britons have been failed. Rather than being a force to negotiate on equal terms with the powerful few, our governments have fallen in behind the powerful few in the hope of treats and rewards. But politicians love power even more than they love treats and rewards. Once they have exhausted all the alternatives, even politicians will do the right thing. It is up to us to demonstrate that the alternatives - all the misinformation and dissembling - are exhausted.