It's 19 February 2014. Leaving the train a headline from a discarded copy of today's Daily Telegraph caught my eye. 'Benefit Cuts Give People Hope'. I was surprised; even by neo-liberal standards of double-speak this took some nerve. Glancing at the top of the article I noted that Cameron, irritated by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols's denunciation of his Government's policies, claimed he had a moral duty to end the cycle of dependency, whatever that is. Well, I thought, the man has no shame, but we knew that.
In passing one might observe that Archbishop Nichols's words represent another example of the mainstream Church effectively taking on the mantle of opposition, a role abjectly abandoned by the heirs of New Labour.
But it's grimly ironic that Cameron should bring up the spectre of dependency because there is indeed a growing dependency culture, one being nurtured by this Government.
The Coalition - let's remember the Lib Dems, including that old hypocrite Vince Cable, are implicated up to their yellow necks in this - are creating the real culture of dependency. A culture of insecurity, short-term contracts, increasing costs, falling wages and even slave labour. A grotesque culture in which we, the people, are increasingly reduced to dependence on the whims and competence of the capitalist class, a class including the bankers, the corporate multi-nationals, the spivs, the dodgy oligarchs, the friends of Cabinet ministers, and, of course, the current and former multimillionaire Cabinet ministers themselves.
A capitalist class who share a vested interest in reducing the wages, the rights and the job security of those who work for them. A capitalist class that has a vested interest in creating private monopolies and the destruction of small business. A capitalist class that has a vested interest in seeing social security slashed to create a pool of vulnerable and dependent workers who know that any sign of independence will see them returned to the scrap-heap until they have learnt servility.
And the State, represented by the Coalition, not only fails to protect the people, it not only acquiesces in the degradation of working people, but actually carries out its business in order to further the interests of the capitalist class. It actually collaborates in increasing our dependency on these parasites.
The State is not an alien entity to be destroyed. It is us organising to improve our lives. The State should be us choosing from among ourselves people to administer our collective interests. It should be us employing some to undertake the essential, useful and enriching tasks that improve life for all. The State should be us ensuring no-one has to live in poverty or in fear. It should be us protecting the vulnerable. It should be us paying for all this according to our ability.
The Coalition are working to end this idea of the State. Despite their neo-liberal rhetoric of liberty, the Coalition vision is not one of a free and independent people living in a flourishing democracy within the rule of law. The freedom they offer, stripped of the hysterical populism, is of a free-for-all in which the rich prosper at our expense. Their State is an authoritarian oligarchy in which working people know their place and are kept in it.
So, for the past decades we've been told the private sector has the answers. That public provision of services is wasteful and inefficient. And it's taken sustained flooding to nail this lie with the smug Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail reading so and sos. If you cut expenditure on providing social services, bad things happen. Not just to the poor, the disabled, the vulnerable, who they don't give a toss about, but to them.