The Return to Serfdom??

Today I find myself in absolute turmoil, like many others I live in such constant pain it drains me into fatigue and stupor; I also survive in fear and terror of that envelope which might sever my financial lifeline.  Because of this I write blogs, I share information via social networks & I take part in local events courtesy of an array of pain medication.

There are two specific reasons for my disarray, yesterday I doped up and with my partner/carer went into town to the People United bus; whilst there and being me, I decided to ‘get stuck in’. There was amongst several other activities, a cardboard cut out of the PM along with post-its & pens to collect the views of people on Government Policies; so armed with said equipment, I began to try and collect opinions. Politely I approached people and asked if they were’ happy with what was happening in the Country today’ and if ‘there was one thing they could say to the PM what would it be?’; the majority of people immediately responded NO to the first point, but then to my astonishment most refused to add a comment, despite total anonymity! In 35 years of community engagement I can honestly say I’ve never come across such responses as this.

The second reason is for my confusion was my immediate response to one line in a blog  – “Our forebears were prepared to give their lives to stop this sort of thing. What are we prepared to give?” The blog in question was written by Jonathan Kent and debated who had instructed the Police to infiltrate groups and gather data, from left wing protesters like Greenpeace to so called “militant Islamists”. He concluded by suggesting that maybe it isn’t Governments that were responsible but private corporations.

Without thinking my reaction was “A tweet, a post on Facebook, maybe even a blog – & what will this stop the pervasive withdrawal of our Rights & ultimately a return to Serfdom?“; and virtually as quickly, I realised my instinctive retort really bothered me.  I’d unconsciously linked the fact that these ‘private companies’, who are owned by the uber-rich, are the same people who have since society began, believed they ‘owned’ the majority of the people; and that we of the 95/99% have yielded and ‘given up’ the struggle for freedom.

I am particularly disturbed because on even reflection, I can’t find good reason to ignore either my astonishment at yesterdays responses, nor my instinctive reaction to the blog. I fully acknowledge how many of us are fighting back through sharing information, and attempting to tell the truth through our multitude of social media outlets, I’m also aware of the wide range of groups  coming together via The People’s Assembly, and Left Unity, but I do not believe this is enough.  as I write this I have thought bubbles floating around of invisible men smirking as they watch us, striving to share the Truth.

Osborne’s Spending Review yesterday demonstrated how major negative changes are insidiously slotted into long, tedious speeches they get overlooked. The inclusion of Personal Independence Payments (formally DLA) into the Benefit Cap will mean that those of us fortunate enough to actually be awarded this life saving element of Social Security; which is supposedly granted to cover the Extra Expenses of being ill, may actually see no benefit from it. This vital payment will from 2015 no longer be excluded from income when calculating  Tax, or Housing Benefit, and could therefore become void! For a fuller explanation –

To return to Kent, he said People have died in the fight for privacy and freedom and I share his query, just “what are we prepared to give?“. I am in no way advocating for people to martyr themselves, there is more than enough death as a result of this Governments Reforms as it is but; I do believe people have to temporarily leave their PCs, Laptops & Phones and actively take part in something more than social media.

History, both that written down by the victors or the other sort, that passed down to us via our community elders, clearly indicates the only way ordinary people achieve positive change is to fight for it together; and I’m afraid that people generally are so caught up in the multiple webs of deceit they don’t understand this, or worse  they just don’t give a damn.

I’m as guilty as anyone of not ‘giving enough’; but this time I can’t afford either morally or financially  to allow my constant pain, fear, or pressure of those who care for me, to prevent me from fighting.  If I truly want things to alter from the current course of destructive  Policies based upon Lies , and the covert removal of my rights  that my own grandpa was blown up for, I have to ACT and it has to start NOW.

The only way for me to do this is to not only join organisations actively taking up the challenge such as DPAC, but to take to the streets with them; and to engage with new projects including PPP which aims to meet with small groups/individual & link them with other groups arranging peaceful protests.

Because personally the alternative is to concede and accept I’m in thrall, surviving only at the whim of my Rich Elite Masters – and that is worse than Death in my book.

28 thoughts on “The Return to Serfdom??

  1. Pingback: The Return to Serfdom?? | Welfare, Disability, ...

  2. Hi Jayne. This is a great blog post, and all I can say is that I do feel guilty that I don’t feel able to give any more than I am able to through the blog, or on Twitter, and as you know i’ve struggled with both, due to depression, anxiety and paranoia, and those are less direct methods of communication than “the real world”. I continue to feel ashamed and guilty about those things I don’t feel able to do, as I do want to do more. Best wishes


  3. I share your frustration. What happened to the power of the people? The people that founded the political parties. Whatever your politics it is quite evident that the people aren’t with any of the parties but too apathetic to even start their own. If you don’t like the politicians I keep saying then why are you letting them into parliament? If you don’t like the local candidates put someone else up or join a constituency party and help choose one. I feel as a Disabled person who is also a carer for a person with mental health problems that I am being beaten up by present government policies. Because of various government policies we are already well below poverty line and that’s with one family member working. Every day I wonder if DWP will take our support away. It is grinding us down. But how do we break through this apathy? The politicians make long speeches about immigration as if that really mattered to anyone who is wondering if they eat or pay the electricity.


  4. Great post Jayne. This is government for the corporations, by the corporations and the end result is neofeudalism… the US-EU FTA says it all. The power of the Corporate Tribunal to overturn domestic legislation over employment and environmental protection.. plus the SOPA type control over the internet. However, don’t discount your online activity. You’ve already achieved so much with the WOW petition 🙂 but I agree that face to face contact needs to happen for most people to get the message. The MSM will not provide the information.

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  5. Pingback: The Return to Serfdom?? | It Matters |

  6. Online activism has its place. A lot of it came about through frustration that traditional activism simply wasn’t doing the trick, as, not only was it ignored by politicians, but it went unreported by the press. Remember the Hardest Hit marches which saw tens of thousands of us on the street with barely a mention anywhere (thanks for nothing BBC)?
    Things have improved since then, in part due to constant pecking away, unexpected breakthroughs and opportunities to tell our stories. The success of your own petition, is one such example. Now though may well be the time to take back to the streets as the press is more likely to pay attention this time round.
    However it should not be forgotten that many of the people who in the past couple of years have been activists via social media are simply unable to help on the street and should not be berated or sneered at for being “armchair” or “computer” activists. Some of us are very ill, housebound, or bedbound. We help as we can. The work done via social media, if done right, can have an effect and supplement and support more direct action.


    • I totally accept your points Sarah, and you’re correct; but I’d rather wreck my body fighting than not. It’s my own way of dealing with the dread.

      All best xx


  7. A brilliant blog Jayne and exactly how I feel and have done for the last two years. I don’t seem to be able to make even people close to me understand what is really going on and fear that by the time enough people do it will be game over. I think the programme about the workhouses of Victorian Britain really brought it home (if anyone mainstream even watched) – the 1%/5% fought hard to preserve feudalism but were forced to compromise by the fear of Communism. No such revolutionary movements/theories are filling that void today and they want to take back what they still believe is theirs. Us. As slaves in effect. Powerless, malleable and only worth keeping alive if we make them profit. A coup indeed – right in front of everybody’s TV brainwashed, media-manipulated, consumer-driven eyes…….


    • Even the Victorians had deserving and undeserving poor whereas now it is all undeserving poor whether you are dying of a terminal illness, disabled since birth or caring for your partner with Alztheimers. No exceptions unless you are someone who inherited wealth. They are even talking of removing Teaching Assistants and doubling class size so making sure those who are taught by the State system will not have the chance of achieving what the rich private school educated schieve. That should keep the Universities clear of the great unwashed. As for those with disabilities when the TAs are gone it will be back to the special school system for them (more cost effective) And the bedroom tax means anyone who is sharing care of elderly parents, has a disabled child or partner who needs a room of their own will be forced into even worse poverty or have to send them to an institution. Next thing you know we will be building care institutions (ie Workhouses). Much cheaper that way.


  8. More power to your elbow but don’t underestimate the power of your words in a blog. If you fire off in all directions you have no idea which thing will make a difference or open a door – it may be the one you least expect. Also – although HMG is making it very hard, bear in mind that there are many public servants who will be batting as hard as they can for the poor, impoverished and disadvantaged while they do their jobs, wheedling and fandangling behind the scenes to make the system do what it should, rather than what is now intended. The most important message the rich and powerful can get is that the rest of us are not lying down and not going away!


  9. “I do believe people have to temporarily leave their PCs, Laptops & Phones and actively take part in something more than social media.”

    You know, you might well have hit upon the reason for the widespread apathy. There’s another reason, which I wrote about a couple of years ago – we’ve bred a nation of pussies. This was a nation that went out and colonised almost half the world (and this is not the place, folks, for bitching about colonialism). These days we’d be hard pressed to find the cojones to colonise Rockall

    And A Gay Mentalist , we all do what we can. Being housebound I can’t take to the streets, my blog, and words, are all I have – I see no reason why either of us should feel shame or guilt for this.


    • My sons who are on their computers more than I am are well informed and have written letters to MPs. One even interviewed his local MP. I don’t see computers as the reason for apathy. There are a huge number of lobby groups online and online petitions. For me as a virtually housebound person the internet has given me a voice. I can’t take to the street either.


      • No point in having a voice if it’s unheeded – e-petitions are a bad joke, designed to give the proles the illusion of having some input into the policy-making process. In reality, even if the magic 100k signatures is reached, and the ensuing debate comes out against the government, as it did over the badger cull, the government can perfectly legally give the MPs the finger and ignore them because – and this is the bit most people either don’t know or choose to ignore, in an excess of hope over common sense, decisions taken as a result of 100k debates are not binding on government.

        The whole process is a sham. In addition, there are far too many petitions, many of them trivial, or unrealistic in their expectations and it’s perfectly clear to anyone who spends much time online that people are all petitioned-out and have largely lost interest – except for badgers, but I happen to think that people are more important.

        I’ve been actively campaigning, via my blog, since Labour was in power (this whole benefits farce – except for the insanity of IDS – was Labour’s fault. David (now Lord), Freud was briefing against Incapacity Benefit claimants as long ago as 2008, in his notorious Telegraph article in which the only true words were the byline. Now he’s doing a similar job for Cameron – he’s the House of Lords outlet for the IDS Lie Factory, as well as getting creative with his own lies.

        One final comment – you really can’t judge the entire Internet by the actions of your sons. I spend 16 to 24 hours day online – I’m just winding down from an all-nighter on Twitter – and I can say with absolute certainty that Jayne is correct. And so is Spoonydoc – there are few absolutes in this mess.


      • I think my point was that my sons and daughter are very well informed and also very politically active. I think the internet can give them a lot of info both from several points of view and about demos that are happening. But I don’t think they would be so politically active if it wasn’t that we as parents have always encouraged it and they have always felt a great sense of injustice re how disabled parents are treated. Also they saw me actively campaigning and being involved in organisations like the Rowntree trust. But when I started campaigning for access to my children’s schools I at least could count on some people in authority listening to me. How loud do you have to shout before someone actually listens these days? Maybe that is why people have slumped into apathy. Perhaps they remember the huge protest against the Iraq war and know how little difference taking it to the streets makes. And of course if you have riots like the criminal one in London the government can always blame the benefit culture even though a high number of looters were actually in employment. The government has been pulled up several times for falsifying statistics and yet no one is pushing the point home. I wonder what it will take for anyone to form a relevant opposition to present policies. How many people have to starve? To see adverts asking for charity so a child can have decent food and bedding and yet no one sees this as outrageous. We are not a poor country. No charity should have to be begging food for our children.


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