A letter from a revolutionary eco-socialist in pain.

Painting 4 by Gordon Liddle, https://pictorignotus.com/about.html

It’s been a very bad month for blue tits, for the poor and for me!

By Gordon Liddle

Zombie Apocalypse, 18th Sept 2021

Blue Tits tend to have only one brood per year. They feed their young on caterpillars and have to gauge when these are freely available to choose when to lay their eggs. If they get it wrong, the brood will starve, or they will only be able to feed one chick. Either way, the risks to getting it wrong are huge. Add in climate change and Insect Armageddon, and the risks just got a lot worse. This year must have been a bad one, as our quota of Blue Tits in the garden at this time of year is a lot less than those of last year. We have had a rubbish summer with ridiculous weather events, flooding and basically crap weather. Our tomatoes are late, the potatoes got blight and our onions are not worth lifting. On the swing side we have our largest ever apple crop and the late carrots seem to be doing OK. But all is not right in the garden. As the Blue Tits have shown, the insects are leaving us.

On the political front our Selfservative government goes from bad to worse. Whilst the Zombie Apocalypse grinds on and into another wave, they seem to blindly stagger from one bad policy decision to another. As the rich have managed to storm ahead and are making the biggest fortunes in history, the poor and sick are being punished for simply being. In the current dystopia here in the UK, the poor are marginalised and lined up for a punishment beating to allow a narrative to exist that we have somehow to ‘pay for the pandemic’, or that ‘we are all in it together’ and the punishment is part of ‘levelling up!’ They are about to remove the £20 uplift for UC at a time of rising prices for basics, food, electricity, rents, and the only thing the minister in charge can mutter is that they can easily make it up by working a couple of hours extra per week. Disregarding the fact this is a lie, as the average worker will have to put in about seven to nine hours to make up the loss due to the way the credits are worked, many are already working at two or three jobs just to keep their heads above water. On top of that, the Chancellor has decided the poorest will contribute the most with new tax rises via National Insurance. At a time when prices are rising and the economy is struggling, it makes no sense to take money out of the economy, but they seem determined to do so. Fiscal responsibility is the key phrase sung by Sunak, the jug eared idiot with the crocodile smile, as he hurls more key workers onto the bonfire of poverty and despair. One could think of his as an economic illiterate until one understands the conscious cruelty of these decisions.

As the rich have managed to storm ahead and are making the biggest fortunes in history, the poor and sick are being punished for simply being.

Don’t forget, the government is not just taxing the poor with these new NI taxes (10% rise), it is gaslighting us as well. It could easily order the Bank of England to buy some government issued bonds. There was no need to tax at all for social care, nor for funding the NHS. The debt is rolled on and sometime in the future will be cancelled. But to do this, it would undermine the absolute message that we can’t ‘afford’ the public services that we need. There are a lot of rich people who control the politicians and the government with the argument that there is no ‘Magic Money Tree!’ This debt narrative is why we are having this NI increase of ten percent now. It is criminally and consciously cruel on those most in need and will for instance, instantly give nurses, and health care ‘essential’ workers a pay cut. The real purpose of this chance is to ring fence the wealthy and allow them to pass on their inheritance to their children. In essence, it, as Richard Murphy has pointed out, transfers money from the poor to the wealthy. This should be an open goal for Labour, but Sir Rodney Woodentop is too busy purging socialists and left-wing Jews out of the Party. During this zombie apocalypse, the rich have seen their wealth grow by 35% whist foodbank usage has risen 33%. This latest poll tax type is just another insult to ordinary workers. The Unions should be calling for a general strike, but I suppose we will just roll over and remember when we were affronted when a politician called for communist broadband during the election.’ Maybe we deserve these bastards?

During this zombie apocalypse, the rich have seen their wealth grow by 35% whist foodbank usage has risen 33%.

The NHS is struggling, and the new wave of infections is going to put it under more pressure, perhaps terminal. Ten years of engineered decline by the Tories, waiting lists becoming longer and longer, even before the pandemic, has put it in a terrible state. Capita, Serco, Interserve and other parasites of the public purse have thrived, sucking billions out of the economy and making their shareholders rich, whilst the Tories are chopping off the limbs of our treasured NHS. The steady drip, drip, drip, of recent comments in the media of how the service is failing is meant to leave us with a bad taste in our mouths, a desire for a new shiny, efficient, privatised health care system, to allow their American and Corporate Healthcare Companies to ride to the rescue, an all-insurance new health service, that will eviscerate and other the poor, disabled and chronically sick. On top of this the disinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus are still rife and complicating vaccination take-up, particularly in the US, where, according to Fox News and others, people are sticking keys to their foreheads and pushing their swollen gonads around in wheelbarrows.

Capita, Serco, Interserve and other parasites of the public purse have thrived, sucking billions out of the economy and making their shareholders rich, whilst the Tories are chopping off the limbs of our treasured NHS.

The recent cabinet reshuffle has been in the news for the last couple of days, as one incompetent minister is shown the door only for another equally incompetent one to come in, one of which has the claim to fame of having eaten an Ostrich anus on live TV. It makes the news cycle excited for a few days, but it will make no discernible difference to any of us. One has to understand that the current PM is not interested in governance, nor in any real policy decisions. He wants to be in power. There will be no levelling up, to do so would upset his base. If the North were to be given a helping hand, it would be at the expense of the South, and they wouldn’t contemplate that. Shops are running out of products due to the shortage of HGV drivers and broken supply chains from Brexit. Will they do anything meaningful? Don’t be ridiculous. Just more gaslighting and lies. Our client journalists are all over the front pages spouting nonsense about bringing back Imperial weights and measures now we are free from the ‘shackles’ of the EU, with the great British pint crown back on our beer glasses. Meanwhile, due to the lack of foresight, or as it should be called, criminal negligence, the water industry cannot obtain the chemicals needed to treat our water and sewage, the results of which are huge measures of sewage and waste being pumped into almost every river in England at extraordinary rates, poisoning our rivers and fish, killing the vegetation and wildlife. Another example, if one were needed, of privatisation of public commons and basic life necessaries for private profit. Capitalism is literally poisoning our waters. Fines by a toothless watchdog are just passed off an ‘industry expenses’, a small price to pay for huge renumeration for the executives and shareholders.

the water industry cannot obtain the chemicals needed to treat our water and sewage, the results of which are huge measures of sewage and waste being pumped into almost every river in England

Meanwhile, we are hurling toward the COP26 Earth Summit in November. Over the last fortnight I have been suffering from a back injury that has left me in great pain and the resulting take-up of painkillers has made my sleepy and out of kilter. Taking a couple of Tramadol last week as the pain got really bad led to me hallucinating. It was like a very bad LSD trip. It was very depressing and very visual and more frightening that I was awake the whole time, the scenes visualising on the back of my eyelids like an arthouse film. The one thing I realised is that I have for months been suffering from what Srecko Horvat calls Post Apocalypse Melancholy. And I’m not talking about the pandemic.

I’m talking the actual Apocalypse, of which this past two years has been a highlighted symptom. My Christian friend is convinced we are nearing the end times, and to him the Apocalypse is the Revelation, the revealing of a new world, where those which are chosen are saved. The Apocalypse, as Horvat explains, is to them a great revealing, something to be welcomed, a transformation, a release. But it isn’t. My friend is deluded. He bought into a simple story, from more ignorant times, where an understanding of the biosphere was in its infancy, from which we have barely matured. The Apocalypse is extinction. The end of everything. The end of humanity, of human experience, of culture, language, of the arts, architecture, science, of love and shared empathy, of understanding of nature, of our place in it.

The Apocalypse is extinction. The end of everything. The end of humanity, of human experience, of culture, language, of the arts, architecture, science, of love and shared empathy, of understanding of nature, of our place in it.

The only ‘revelation’ I have experienced over the last few years, as I have researched a manifesto (and failed in real terms), is that we are in a very bad place. I am already mourning from the Post Apocalypse. Not only are our ‘leaders’ psychopaths and sociopaths, almost to a man (and they are mainly men), but that they believe that permanent growth invasive and extractive Capitalism is the only game in town. No other approach to how we live within our system is allowed nor contemplated. The controllers of Capitalism decided, some time ago, and with absolute certainty, that they were just going to endure and allow the impacts of climate change and ecological collapse for the following reasons. Firstly, they cannot and will not contemplate the taming or elimination of a system that has made them extremely wealthy and powerful. Secondly, they are psychologically unable to contemplate any other system that allows empathy and understanding, or even love of the natural world to displace their idea that we are ‘above’ nature, and we have to rule. That we are somehow unique and not part of the ecological cascades that make up life on earth, and possibly elsewhere. To tame is and conquer it like any other colony in the name of their Imperialism is ingrained into their being. Thirdly, they believe no-one will challenge this system as we have become too weak and subjugated ourselves to their dominance, and thus, as we go over the cliff with them, we are partly to blame for being so dumb and subservient. I this they are correct.

Not only are our ‘leaders’ psychopaths and sociopaths, almost to a man (and they are mainly men), but that they believe that permanent growth invasive and extractive Capitalism is the only game in town.

Only this week our government here in the UK decided to strip out the environmental portion (which met the very soft Paris Climate Change provisions) from a Trade Deal with Australia to make it easier to agree, but in the same week the US, Australia and the UK agree a pact to confront by force if necessary, the alleged threat of China. To supply new Nuclear submarines to Australia and make it the new base for a second Cold War. To my knowledge China has never invaded another country in recent times, and, since being co-opted into the Capitalist system, has acted as the World Factory for goods, then using the wealth created, has lifted its people out of poverty and is now using such wealth to trade and invest in other countries. I make no great case for the Leadership of China, authoritarian that it is, but, comparing China to the US or past Imperial Britain, Belgium or Germany, they look positively innocent. The determination of the US to provoke a conflict with someone, as it’s Empire fades is as Thucydides laid out. Possibly the end game will end with China after a practice on Iran.

And it is not just the right that are laying the paving to the Apocalypse, the left too has capitulated. Many believe they can tweak Capitalism into a less destructive model, or they can control it better and with magnanimity. They can’t. At the Labour conference here in the UK, the leadership has stopped a motion to discuss Climate Change, and instead has committed itself to purging what remains of the left as the number one priority for the Party. Anyone left in Labour who believes it can be a part of the future is delusional or has taken the same painkillers that sent me hallucinating last week. It’s over. It is part of the problem, not part of a solution. In the US, we saw this week that great left firebrand AOC turning up for an establishment evet wearing an expensive evening dress with ‘Tax The Rich’ on the back. It made me sick. This virtue signalling was accepted at the evening even directly because the establishment see her as no threat whatsoever. A jolly good joke and a good titter among the thieves and crooks at the event. Meanwhile, outside, a real demonstrator was arrested for being an actual threat. As AOC capitulated in full view of the media, the protester outside, out of view, was the real deal, not a sell-out. 

At the Labour conference here in the UK, the leadership has stopped a motion to discuss Climate Change, and instead has committed itself to purging what remains of the left as the number one priority for the Party.

Over the last year as I have researched for a realistic Green New Deal, one of the things I have realised is that it cannot be done by the rich North. Their proposals involve more of the same, or a reliance in technology, tweaks to Capitalism, more appropriation of the poor South, more colonialism and more theft of resources. The Green New Deal has to be one which allows Indigenous Peoples to have an equal say, has to involve the relief of debt and has to involve Land Back, decolonialisation. It also has to allow them to catch up, real CO2 relief for them, they didn’t do this tragedy, we did. It isn’t their eating of meat which has denuded soils and aquifers. It wasn’t their farming practices that has destroyed the earth, it was ours. It isn’t them playing with nuclear annihilation, it is us. I have also realised I am no longer just a socialist. Our democracies are a sham. I am now a revolutionary eco-socialist. The fight back is outside our democratic systems. I’ve seen the Apocalypse. It’s here already. There is no going back to normal. That time has passed.


Gordon Liddle in the Yemen in the 1990s

Gordon Liddle was born 1956, Horden, County Durham, United Kingdom Married, lives and works at his Derbyshire studio. BA Hons, Sheffield Psalter Lane Art College Gordon has had numerous positions and travelled extensively through the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Africa and Europe, with particular interests in religion, democracy, politics, economics, MMT, and culture. The results of these studies form the basis of the series of works now under way. Numerous works bought by private collectors #Madonna Victorian Mood Bought by Andrew Cavendish the 11th Duke of Devonshire is owned by the Chatsworth Collection. ‘Celestial Teapot’ was exhibited at La Galleria Pall Mall in London for one week in 2013, 4 days at Art Basel in 2014. Currently working on Gaia, The Sixth Extinction Series, of paintings, woodcuts and hopefully etchings soon. Also writing two books and a book of poems and rants. Gordon is on Twitter @sutongirotcip and his website is pictorignotus.com