When our rubbish accumulates because the binmen are on strike due to cuts in their pay, workforce numbers, pensions, union rights , no tea-breaks for the next ten years etc, we'll organise our own collections. Better still we can round up the local rats (what price a modern Pied Piper?) to get rid of the food waste.
When our local schools aren't rebuilt or refurbished and our children knee-deep in water, we'll simply take over the chapel, convert it into a 'free' school and call it St. McDonald's, with obvious sponsorship. No need for a private catering company and the school badge will have the ubiquitous 'M' on it.
When the doctor can't come out on a house visit because he has to travel from Germany ( sounds familiar!), we'll make our own cures from foraged plants like doc leaves. We might even invest in a street 'witch doctor'.
I can understand the arguments put by Alex Andrews in 'The Guardian' last Tuesday about the Tories 'opening a crack for real activism'. My friend and comrade the late Jack Gilbert was a great advocate for and participator in community organisations, from village groups setting up allotments to the more widespread Credit Unions. I'd like to think Andrews' idealism is not misplaced when he says - 'Perhaps we can create networks of solidarity and mutual aid that will allow people to survive austerity and job losses.' However, survival is one thing and creating a genuine alternative another.
I cannot imagine the ConDems tolerating fullblown co-operatives which could challenge the hegemony of large companies who are strangling and dominating society. Of course, what Cameron has in mind is the shift of services away from public sector and onto voluntary bodies in order to destroy what he sees as dependence on the State. The tragic reality is that many people will be neglected and abandoned because charities won't be able to cope (just as homeless people are now) and only where it's seen as lucrative (as has happened with Care Homes) will the private sector move in for the killing.
I sincerely hope that the 'communities of dissent' envisaged by Andrews will emerge. However, Mayor Boris has just cleared one (the Peace Camp) from Parliament Square : not a promising sign for the future.
A BIG PARTY
S' we decided to ave a Big Party
t celebrate-a Big Society
(it woz-a best way
t get on-a telly).
Better still,this bloke up-a street
woz comin back from Afghanistan
with a small wound on is leg,
so summin else t celebrate.
First time since-a Jubilee
and even them Thomases Welsh Nat's
Welsh-speakers never turned up 'en,
sayd they'd come along this time.
Ev'ryone ud be there cept Dirty Dick
number 69 done f flashin
all over-a local paper ;
if ee come ee'd ave a good kickin.
It woz all ready, booze n buffet
(even cold pizza f'r the veggies),
journalist from-a 'Merthyr' with a camra,
but telly coverin a Big Orgy up-a Rhondda.
Never seen tha soldier before,
is mam wore a t-shirt sayin
'MAM OF A TOTAL HERO',
ee limped bard,toasted-a Queen;
Thomases started complainin in Welsh,
s' this eero Shane ee tells em -
'Fuck off ome t wherever!'
They jest sayd -'We woz born in Merthyr!'
It did get better arfter tha,
we ad a Big Cake we all shared
and a Big Larf when some o the boyz
pissed all over Dick's garden.
Shane showed the kids is scars
an got to autograph a few girlz t-shirts;
it got barkin as the evenin wen on
with Big Drinkin Competitions.
Then Alan up-a road puts a dampener
on the whool bloody evenin,
stan's on-a table, one foot in-a cake remains
an gives off t ev'ryone -
'Big Fuckin Party!' ee shouts is ead off,
'yesterday I gotta Big News,
the Council's on'y laid me off
an now I feel like a nobuddy!'
Shane yells out - 'Yew should join the army!'
Thomases start singin 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau',
I done a Big Spew in-a drain
an a Big Party become a Big Pandemonium.