Tag Archives: Conservatives

#Tory Myth 3: Life is Tragic

I hope I meet Byl Wringe again some day. Last heard, he was teaching Philosophy in Turkey.

When we were students together he had a moustache he fiddled with. We were Young Fogeys, at the end of Thatcher’s era. Byl said he couldn’t be a Christian because Christians denied Tragedy. But things do go wrong, he said. The centre doesn’t always hold. To deny that fact is to deny also the vulnerability of the world, which is its beauty, its lovability.

Believing in Tragedy is believing that irresistible forces meet immovable objects, that there are problems that can’t be solved. In the tragic world view, Economic Growth is pitted against Environmental Protection; Housing against the Countryside; Employment against Inflation; Human Rights against Human Responsibilities; Security against Peace.

Poster for Sophocles' Electra, performed by students at Kings College London in 1989

Poster for Sophocles’ Electra, performed by students at Kings College London in 1989

That’s what the Ancient Greek Tragedies did. They took abstract nouns and hurled them at each other. Antigone can’t reconcile Respect for the Dead with Respect for Authority. Electra’s love for her Dad drives her to hate her Mum. Pentheus is torn between sensuality and dignity, in the end literally torn.

What’s the answer to these clashes of opposites?

‘Sacrifice!’ say the Right Wing. ‘One Good has to be sacrificed for another Good!’ (Oddly, it’s often someone else’s Good that has to be sacrificed.)

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?

Possibly a transformation of both?

What if transformation were possible? What if reconciliation were possible? What if there were solutions?

‘Love hopes all things.’

What if the tragic outlook missed a trick, turned out to be a little wooden, seeing the murdered tree of the cross, and not the dynamo that was forged?

Byl, are you out there?

Buy Adventures in Tory Land: Politics in Middle England at amazon.com/co.uk or click here:

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Tory Myth 2: There just isn’t the money

dome

#tax breaks, #royal family, #millennium dome, #war on terror – lovely ideas, Tories, but “there just isn’t the money.”

If you look at actions, rather than words, the Conservative Party has little problem with public spending – just so long as it doesn’t lead to redistribution. Militarism, or floating the Queen down the Thames on a barge, is OK, because the poor won’t get richer. Even spending on the NHS is fairly OK. The real threats to social order are welfare, social services, education, prison reform – things that might just empower people. Keeping a gap between the rich and poor is the underlying agenda of the Conservative Party.

According to the UK National Audit Office, the total cost of The Dome (a John Major commission) at the liquidation of the New Millennium Experience Company in 2002 was £789 million, of which £628 million came from National Lottery grants. That’s about 1% of today’s total #budget. See http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/breakdown

@guardian – UK military operations since cold war have cost £34bn, says study: http://gu.com/p/3zjqa/stw

@JohnPilger – We have created a hotbed of extremism in Iraq, inspiring ongoing expenses in a continued ‘war on terror’ which can’t be won until we stop being terrified.

For a lighter account of Tory madness, buy Adventures in Tory Land: Democracy in Middle England. Go to: http://amzn.to/1N1doeS

Tory themes

When I try to put myself in Conservatives’ shoes, when I’m writing, I find certain themes keep coming up:

Animals

Parents

Fatalism

Plants

Any others that other people can think of? Any explanations for this? Let me know! Katie

https://katiealicebarron.wordpress.com/contact/