Thursday, 22 March 2012

A tale of two cities in Yorkshire: Part 1 Shipley

A long weekend visiting friends in Yorkshire was tarnished by one of the most unforgivable crimes committed by the Coalition government so far: the passage of the nearly universally derided Health and Social Care Bill. This bill ramps up the march toward privatization, dismantling a national health care system that is the envy of people around the world.

The quote on the kids' t-shirts is taken from this Stereolab song. I always interpreted these lyrics positively, thinking about how although it's difficult to win at times, nothing is so permanent it can withstand the sustained resistance of a critical mass of people. 

As I was putting this up, it was looking like this bill was going to clear it's final hurdle and become law. I started to think of these words also as a call to defend the few good things left in the world.

Things developed by humans like the NHS, public housing and the welfare state in general require constant vigilance to make sure those with vested interests don't destroy them.

The day I put this up, we took a long walk on the beautiful moors and encountered an ex-gamekeeper who told us some of the dirty secrets of the so-called landowners (the land is actually owned by Yorkshire Water) who manage the land for grouse shooting. Suffice to say, it's yet another example of the rich flouting the laws, stepping on anything and anyone that gets in their way and never receiving any punishment.

But what he also shared with us were numerous tips for sabotaging their industry and taking away some of their power. Things are not all that out of (our) control.

Pasted up at the base of the clock tower in front of Shipley Market.

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