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Darth Cameron and The Austerity Death Star

Author bio: 
Richard Cottrell

Last year I wrote a cautionary blog in this spot entitled ‘ A Tory Blair – A Word In Your Ear About David Cameron. I suggested he was a carbon copy of the former nominally Labour premier who went to Downing Street virtually penniless and emerged a millionaire. Cameron of course was well loaded before he came to office, but this is really to ignore the important stylistic tactics pursued by two men theoretically on opposite sides of the political divide.

Both are natural authoritarians who see parliament – and public opinion in general - as a distraction. Both have indulged in backdoor chicanery which served to devalue public faith in the institutions of government to the point of extinction. With Blair, it was the concocted evidence to invade Iraq and then the sale of state honors to shore up the finances of bankrupt New Labor. Blair treated Rupert Murdoch as an ex-officio member of the government, the ‘21st cabinet minister.’ Cameron not only continued the same practice but plunged headlong into a massive personal embroilment when he tried to nod through the NewsCorp smash and grab of satellite broadcasting in the UK. Just before the fresh London riots, it was touch and go whether he and indeed the Tory-Liberal coalition would survive. Now, thanks to the orgy of violence on British streets, the sun is shining again, the great phone-hacking scandal largely forgotten.

Cameron has had a field day adulating the police and spouting with an unnerving sense of excitement about shooting and water-cannoning anarchists and rioters. Not even Thatcher on her best form indulged in that sort of language, even in her great struggles with the revolting coal miners.

What is certain is the British socio-economic system based on informed consent and the prospect of a reasonable standard of living for all has been gradually falling apart since the reign of Margaret Thatcher. It was she who began the isolation of deviant backsliders slipping outside the system, effectively carving out an underclass who turned into frequent flyers in and out of the overcrowded, corrupt prison system. The ’deviants’ were those shut out from the consumerist want-now, must-have orgy by lack of work, skills and motivation, the disinterest of the educational system and the construction of bleak feature-less housing estates functioning as detention centers. Thatcherism foremost expressed a universal culture of selfishness and greed, which led to her famously nihilistic remark to a prominent woman’s magazine that there was ‘no such thing as society.’

This is the bomb which has now exploded with huge force. Even the most conservative pulpits like the Daily Telegraph dismissed the stories of anarchist thugs on a pointless rampage and pointed instead to riots provoked largely by a collapse in social stability and personal expectations.  Cameron’s answer is an ever more intrusive police presence, a clamp down on social interactive media which he regards as providing the oxygen of protest, and more draconian restrictions on civil liberties. The creeping British police state advances a few more significant notches.

What is under-stated in the British media, though it has actually surfaced tentatively for the first time, is the notion of synthetic terrorism promoted by government agents as somehow stoking the anger and rage on the streets. This can be taken for granted, just as the attacks on the London Transport system on the summer of 2005 can have no other explanation. The bombings supposedly carried out by four young suicide bombers justified a crackdown of Hitlerian proportions on the Muslim population of the UK. This time it is the turn of the under-classes to feel the lash.

Too many independent observers to be ignored noted that the police stood back as looters invaded  gaudy temples of consumerism for almost three days. This, in itself, is a form of direct incitement and provocation. And again the prominence of mysterious ‘hoodies’ clearly working to a pre-arranged programme of encouraging violence can be seen from photographs in the media and television coverage. I have already noted how an inconvenient political scandal was blown away from the front pages. What is remarkable about that is the so-called Labor ‘opposition’ joining in the most strident calls from the Coalition for more official spying, thousands more cctv cameras in what is already the most spied upon country on earth. Without any legislative force, entirely innocent parents of young men who had taken part in the riots received notices of eviction from local authority-owned homes. Property, as Marx (and for that matter, Galbraith and Maynard Keynes) explained is a weapon just like any other.

Cui bono? The answer unsurprisingly lies in the forthcoming age of austerity which is about to strike the British people, among many others who are either in the queue for punishment or already in pain like the Greeks, Spanish, Irish and Portuguese. More ‘civil disobedience’ as it used to be known may be confidently expected and plans laid accordingly by the British governing elites.  The imposition of austerity amid a global economic slump is exactly what drove the German middle classes into the arms of the Nazis in the 1930’s. Cameron and his sidekick stooge, the Liberal deputy premier Nick Clegg, are banking that something of the same will happen again, voters fleeing to a safe right wing camp.

This time around they may be wrong. As in the United States there is a systemic loss of faith in government among the middle classes. The poor have been squeezed so hard already there is not a pip left to squeak. Now the middle classes, the so called victors in the consumer revolution, are caught in the vice pressed down by the one per cent of the reveling classes: the already rich and the getting richer. For certain Darth Cameron and his cohorts understand perfectly well that the austerity regime is a potential Death Star to elitist power. Hence the need to prepare for the worst, for which the latest London riots are merely a premeditated rehearsal.

Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative). His new book Gladio: NATO’s Dagger At The Heart Of Europe is coming shortly from Progressive Press.