NUM Memorial Lecture remembering David Jones and Joe Green

At least since the late 1970s and the triumph of neoliberalism we have lived through a period of orchestrated, self-centred individualism. Active citizens reduced to passive consumers. This debilitating onslaught on both our collective sensibility and our organisations of solidarity has been resisted – most magnificently, in my opinion, during the Great Strike of 1984/85. Yet the neoliberal behavioural modification project has proved highly successful. Even as the neoliberal economic model broke asunder in 2008 its narcissistic ideology held its own. On another day I might well try to explore how the technocratic authoritarian State response to COVID has thrived on the back of demanding that, muzzled, we distance ourselves from each other; that we abandon hard-won freedoms, not least the right to protest. In saying this I recognise that mutual aid flourished in the early part of the manufactured crisis but wonder whas happened to its flowering? And, in directing you to this Memorial Lecture, I do so with some trepidation. Why, you might ask, given my nostalgia for those days, privileged to stand alongside the men and women of the mining communities? My anxiety flows from my dismay at the British Left as a whole, which, if anything, has indicated that, if in power, it would be even more draconian. For my part, if they could be bothered , I would suggest they read and ponder the libertarian Lenin, who in ‘State and Revolution’ argued that ‘every cook’ should govern. As it is today most cooks, outside of the home, are unemployed and haven’t the faintest say in ‘what’s going on’. I’m intrigued by how Ken Loach will see matters.

One thought on “NUM Memorial Lecture remembering David Jones and Joe Green

  1. Andy Anderton

    Tony I’m afraid our time is over , how it went wrong is beyond me but losing that last election with such a large majority was the final nail in the coffin of a socialist UK, by that I mean a fairer more equal UK Something went massively wrong ,I am not blaming Jeremy Corbyn or his policies I personally thought he couldn’t have done anymore than what he did, he attracted large adoring cheering crowds wherever he went his opposite number was booed and jeered , wouldn’t give interviews hid in fridges etc and yet won by a landslide , something was amiss and something wasnt right about it all ,not sour grapes on my part and I hope and believe that the truth will out someday !!

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