by Ian Hamilton
In December 1941 William Beverage published a book called FULL EMPLOYMENT IN A FREE SOCIETY. It became our domestic war aim. For ten years after the war that is what we had.
Then this noble aim was forgotten. Under Harold Macmillan’s government, but against his will, inflation became more important than full employment. Inflation reduces the value of the money held by the rich who inevitably form our rulers. How many millions is Tony Blair now worth? Donald Dewar managed to leave only two. The Labour Party is now the banker’s party.
I have lived a long life and hoped to pass on a better one to my grandchildren. I had hoped to pass on full employment in a free society. We have more poverty and more rich today than would have been tolerated in 1945 by those who fought for better things.
I speak for the wartime generation. This may be an impertinence because I never saw action. Yet I passed the boards to be a commissioned pilot in 1943 when the chances of survival were fifty-fifty. I occasionally wear the tie of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in remembrance of the 60,000 dead in Bomber Command alone, average age 22. I was 19 when the war ended. Dead mouths can’t speak. I can. I assert that these people died for many things. Among these was full employment in a free society.
We see Mr Diamond getting twenty millions. We don’t know what service he rendered to us for this reward. Many get millions while the people have their jobs taken from them and their pensions cut.
I write this piece on the eve of the Olympic Games in London. A few of the working class are not playing the game. They are going on strike. They may interrupt the games and cause havoc. In the name of the millions of war dead who died for a better society I wish the strikers well. Let the millionaires wear their Red Poppies while the people scrimp. The Olympics divert us from the real issues. The Olympics hide the failure of capitalism.
Let them fail too.