Monday, 27 February 2012
Does fuel poverty report spell out the shape of things to come?
For years it was a central plank of my politics that no matter what levels of poverty still existed in the world, the trend was toward greater affluence, that for all of it's injustices and inequalities advanced capitalism at least came up with the goods. I felt then, and still do now, that true liberation is unlikely to be the product of a struggle to obtain a crust of bread. Where I think that I, and all those comrades of the generation who were so influenced by Paris '68, went wrong was in assuming that we would not see again the pauperisation of the working class. Big mistake. A recent report suggests that as many as nine million people in UK could be living in fuel poverty in four years time. Homelessness is on the increase again. Climate change, water shortages and a crisis in food production will impact on those at the bottom of the heap. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
Stumbling through the undergrowth we suddenly find ourselves on the edge of a precipice. Peering tentatively over the edge are we staring into the abyss, the apocalypse? Or is what we glimpse spreading out before us the Lost World of our dreams? Only time will tell but of one thing I remain convinced, "it may sound absurd to talk of revolution - but it's even more absurd to talk of anything else."