WE started with common factors that characterised the roots of the anger, frustration and hunger for change that has gained much traction not only in the UK but across Europe;
- Increasing inequality
- Living standards down
- People excluded from decision making
- Decline of working class power
- Globalism / AI causing disempowerment
- Cultural loss - damage to cultural identity
The impacts of managerialism and the reach of the corporates into our lives - enhanced by our own unelected officials 'gold-plating' the raft of petty restrictions from those other unelected officials in Brussels mean that a way of life passed from father to son in years past is now gone. I can recall being quite used to removing the cylinder head of a Ford 105E at the age of 13, cleaning the pistons and replacing the bolts in sequence to the right torque before coating the engine bay in Gunk and hosing it clean. Now not only is it not possible for people to service their own vehicles, but the EU wants to prohibit it in law.
It's this combination between technology that deliberately excludes its owners and government regulation that enables the power of the corporates to capture consumers economically, a combination between an oligopolistic service and infrastucture economy that creates dependence on private firms for the basics and essentials of life and disables citizens from self-reliance, and parallel government regulation that gives private firms a quasi-official status. This is all also part of a loss of control that people feel, part of a perceived exclusion from decision-making. Personal car leases, the 'cloud', firms that hold DVDs and CDs and even software that you 'own' digitally and remotely for ransom - at least when I buy my real CD I'm not obliged to remain a customer of the bloke who sold it to me for eternity in order to be able to listen to it.
It may be a generational thing. Certainly the young people I know seem unconcerned at being 'captured' and 'owned' by the dominant corporates, and are simply happy to comply with new laws compelling them to buy LED lamps. Looking at the live video feeds from the Gilets Jaunes in Paris one sees many grey heads as well as many people dressed for middle-class petty posing rather than for the tear gas, suggesting that those on the street come from the full spectrum of the C-E social classes and of all ages, in other words the huge cohorts of the population most affected by negative change.
There are those - mainly amongst the elite establishment, but also amongst those young metropolitan elites who are happy to see 'Leavers' die - whose response to the current and forthcoming plight of those bearing the brunt of change is to leave them to it, and do nothing that might worsen their own wealth or privileged position. I cannot express how vile and repugnant I find this attitude.
As a nation we're all in it together. That's what being a nation means - we share risks, rewards and a common cultural congruence and responsibility. We also owe a duty to our fellow Britons to ensure not only a safety net but, in Australian terms, 'A Fair Go' to allow them to participate in a new economy. It is simply not acceptable in any form for either the deeply selfish old privileged establishment or the deeply selfish young metropolitan elite who will do well from globalism and AI to shrug off a responsibility for those not so advantaged.
The Parties are struggling right now with novel alignments. I will mark my ballot for whichever party stands for justice, freedom, equity, our nation as One Nation, internationalist not globalist, and above all with a vision that Britain can be a exemplar to the world of how to manage stupendous change with care, compassion, dignity and national determination.
And if a 16 year old were to ask me what best to do in life, my advice would be to train as a chef with a good Bangladeshi restaurant - our demand for good curries won't decrease, but the loophole that has allowed the import of curry-house cooks rather than training domestic young people is closing. Avoid the iron slave-collar of student debt. And one of the few things that AI will never be able to displace humans in doing is flame-range cooking with complex combinations of heat, spice, meat, and skill.