Smiling Against Cynicism

As someone who has always admired the Nordic countries for their political and social cultures, a recent article in an English language Norwegian newspaper was indicative of the inadequacy of the British socialist-left compared to its counterparts in the European home of liberalism. The article I refer to said that many Norwegians were not against paying more tax.

We are all well aware that that part of the world is well known for its social liberalism; however, the contrast to British society is rather striking. In Britain, people are all but born with a distrust of the government and an aversion to paying taxes. The wider picture, however, is not about policy, but happiness. Abandoned long ago by British politicians, happiness is something of a rarity in British society. Its absence is a stinging rebuke to over a decade of Labour government.

One of the defining characteristics of Blairism was a fascination with providing choice rather than quality. After the reported departing of Blairism from British politics (although, with Purnell, Smith and Hutton in government it clearly didn't go too far) parents are left with a choice of a faith school that will attempt to indoctrinate kids into religion, a private school that charges more a term than most earn in a year or a secular public school whose funding has gone towards the two previous options and so is now in dire straits with a majority of underprivileged children that the other schools refuse to take. This is just one example of Blairism's 'choice'.

This Labour government has done nothing to promote happiness, instead it has promoted a brand of greed and selfishness that is visible in virtually no other society save for the US. Today, on the whole we are luckier than ever. Even with the credit crunch Labour has achieved so much for society, yet we are about to through it out and replace it with the vanities of Cameronism. We still have genuine problems with social mobility and child poverty, but crime is at record lows and child credits provide some small comfort fro those who have yet to be lifted out of poverty and forgottendom.

Yesterday, Tory Christian Values Imposition Spokesman (alright, education and families spokesman) Michael Gove hit out at lads mags. He does have a valid point, they are rather disgusting and very demeaning towards women. However, he takes issue with them not because of that, but because they threaten 'family values' (ie. Christian values). The Conservatives do not wish to address society’s ills with real proven policies, they simply plan to re-impose Christian values upon us all.

Labour must not allow this to happen. Evidence shows that happiness has gone up in the UK since Labour came to power (evidence somewhere on this website). So much for religious morality. At risk of sounding like a tree-hugger, Labour needs to fight back with policies that actually make people happy. Rather than focusing on choice or creating ever more faith schools, it should introduce policies that allow people to fulfil their aspirations. Tories want everyone to settle down and marry by the age of twenty. But we can offer people less bureaucracy when selling homes and moving so that people can freely move around the country and even the world to go where-ever their aspirations may take them.

It may sound like an impossible dreamy state of affairs, but it is not. Most intelligent people accept that there is no afterlife or second life and that we don't come back as assorted animals. So lets help people do all they can in their short lives and encourage them to make the best contribution to society possible. This way we can beat the Conservatives, this way we can make people truly happy rather than pushing long-expired, discriminating religious values on them.

For the record, I gave up smoking and meat in February, haven't had a glass of wine in weeks and have never done drugs. So, yes I am serious. For once, let’s shake off the cynicism that we all contract when we get actively involved in politics and play the Tories at their own game. For all the talk of a 'broken society', we have never been freer and we have never been happier. They claim that society is doomed and in a dark place. We know better. We have something that they don't: a conscience that stems from a belief in humanity rather than a belief in illogical superstition.

Bring it on Mr Cameron.

Post a Comment

We do not moderate comments prior to posting, however, we reserve the right to remove inappropriate comments. Abusive or irrelevant comments may be deleted. Sexist, racist, homophobic and xenophobic comments will be deleted. Users are asked to respect each other's opinions whether they agree with them or not.

2008 iNewspaper | Bloggerized by : GosuBlogger | Distributed by Blogger Blog Templates of the Fractal Blog Network