Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Dream of Equality

As a presidential contrast 2015 seems like a stark choice between blow-up statesman David Cameron and his nerdy nemesis Ed Miliband. Yet the differences of personality and presentation hide a core both men share. Both are cowards, afraid to step outside the lines drawn by their parties and their idea of public opinion. Both men will promise to tackle inequality, but they'll be using 'tackle' in its modern political sense, to talk big while acting small. Both will try and shake the legs of the top table so a few more crumbs fall down, but neither will invite us to share the feast.

They need crumbs to fall to keep us from the radical alternatives. UKIP's  fantasy of all-powerful Albion, where the pure bred answer to no one. And the Disco Stu economics of the Greens, which says other people can pay to make the world right. Neither of these are a path to greater equality, only to greater disharmony between unequal groups. That's as radical as it gets.

Where is the party that says we can create a truly equal society? A community which puts no one in poverty with low wages; from which no one divorces themselves by an embarrassment of riches. Because mutual esteem is the bedrock of good relationships and they, unlike our titles and possessions, bring lasting joy to our lives. An equality freely chosen because it's the gateway to a happy society.

It's an achievable dream. We have engines that can not only show us the future they are building it before our very eyes. We don't recognise the awesome power of these time machines only because we're building a future that's just like the present. A social hierarchy with the people who write the best essays at the top. We can change this and with a curriculum for equality raise a generation that don't use the gifts they have as markers on a social ladder. A generation free, happy and equal. We only need to believe we can.

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