Comrade Corbyn is offering a simplistic vision for the infantilized. Nigel Farage was offering a tough vision where one would have to actually work to get anything.
The Nigel Farage phenomenon has had its first rush and garnered 3.8 million votes. Now, as if this is a directed pantomime, it’s the Jeremy Corbyn show.
Two images of two shops I went into in the mid-90s for your consideration.
One was in post-Soviet Russia and it was a general store. Everything people needed, according to those above, was found in these GUMs and TSUMs. On entering, one joined a queue and the skill was in knowing which one, as it was not possible to approach the counter and see the products.
They arranged one example of each of the products in a glass case. There was little choice – this was the washer for the tap, this was the scythe, this was the nappy or diaper. Behind the counter stood four or five wooden women, dour-faced, bored, in uniform. I looked around and there was a booth over on the street side which handled the money.
Average time was perhaps half an hour in the queue which, I was reliably informed, was a vast improvement on Soviet days. Finally, our turn came and one had to be quick because the people behind would jostle and harangue which might have accounted for the state worker woman in the uniform behind the counter and her attitude.
“Next!” she bellowed.
“Ah yes …”
“Bistro, bistro …” [Hurry, hurry].
It was some piping we needed and my companion did the asking. The woman then left her place and went out the back to rummage, presumably, perhaps to have a cuppa.
She eventually returned. “Nyet – tor.” [We don’t have it. Literally – not that.]
My companion knew this tactic of old. The wooden woman’s idea was that now we’d get the hell out of the way and let someone else have a turn. Zero concept of us having survived the queue for so long that we wanted our product. Zero concern.
I’ve seen that in Britain too – being told that they have to cater for everyone, not just me. Yes but I am part of everyone so please supply what I’ve asked and don’t use the teeming masses as an excuse not to serve each constituent part of said masses.
We did not get that item but did get three or four other things and later, my companion felt it was a victory of sorts. Harrowing tales of dealing with the passport office were told.
Before leaving this shop, let me mention the payment bit. The woman behind the counter issued a slip of paper with a printed number of the item[s]. We then had to leave the queue and join that long snake of a queue to pay.
Then we rejoined the first queue with the receipt to give to the wooden woman. She would then go out back and rummage again. Eventually, she’d come back with the item and shove it at us or slap it on the counter. Great sales technique. That was our lot.
I looked around at the sea of faces – frustrated, bored, resigned – this was not living, it seemed to me.
Jeremy Corbyn wants to renationalize the railways. Simplistic and on the surface – looking at the dislocation between Network Rail and the other providers, the greed of skyrocketing fares, the rip-offs, the poor service, the massive bureaucracy, despite privatization, people might be forgiven for going with a return to the bad old days of nationalized railways.
And here’s the thing – unless you’ve personally been through things like that, like rationing, like the Blitz, you can’t really know.
One side of politics actually reads about those things and realizes how bad they were. On paper.
The other side lives in this “now” cocoon, the instant gratification on the never-never and thinks – my goodness, Jeremy speaks so much sense and he’s such a nice man, such a nice beard.
Second shop. It wasn’t a shop but a Post Office in Frankfurt. The instant I walked in, I groaned. I’d come to Frankfurt from Russia with the same companion. There was a huge queue in a snake again, this time with those pillar and webbing dividers.
About halfway along the snake, I looked around at the faces and they were in a hurry, containing their impatience but that was about it. They were, for the most part, well dressed and well groomed. There was no time because suddenly we were at the counter.
A smiling face almost gave me a heart attack. “May I help you?”
Wasn’t this Germany, home of the stormtrooper? Vee haf ways off keeping you in line?
The lady dealt with my quite complicated set of requests, someone else went out the back and returned with the boxes, the whole thing was over within about six minutes – that was with a room full of people.
And therein lies the difference.
My Russian mates and matesses hear about our situation over here, follow my links and read for themselves. They are dumbfounded. “But why would your people “want” to become the Soviet Union? Do they not know what it is really like?”
Well no, they don’t. This is the process of short-termism, living in the present, no knowledge of the past, means new generations for whom the lessons learnt by the older generations are as nothing. Grandparents’ tales from a storybook.
And the Corbynite movement is the same errors being made all over again. The PTB grin and lick their lips at the “sheeple”.
But one must never use that word. Were one to call the Eloi “sheeple”, they’d just gaze at you and then look away. You’d be marginalized. Nasty man, probably a racist homophobe.
And that’s where we are. One only really understands what the loss of freedoms means long after they’ve been removed by salami tactics.
This post is not for my site, only for OoL, the Liberty Bell. Have a lovely weekend.